London open: China trade data weighs on miners, Burberry
London's shares were ambling lower on Tuesday morning as mining stocks wobbled after disappointing China data and a sprinkling of company results missed the mark.
After half an hour of trading, the FTSE 100 was down 8.24 points or 0.11% to 7,523.70, with the more UK-focused FTSE 250 also having slipped into the red.
The pound continued to remain virtually flat against the dollar at 1.3043 but extended its nine-month lows against the euro, down 0.1% to 1.1039.
After strong recent Chinese data has helped lift global sentiment, trade data for July released early on Tuesday morning indicated the People's Republic's third quarter has got off to a slow start with imports only rising 11% a sharp fall from June’s 17.2%.
This raises some concerns that domestic demand may be softening, said Michael Hewson at CMC Markets.
Exports were also "a bit of a worry", he said, as they rose 7.2%, below expectations of 11% and a fall from June’s 11.3%.
"This would appear to suggest that while global demand is still positive it may well not be as strong as initially thought, which might be a concern further down the line if it suggests a start of a trend."
This overshadowed some encouraging UK staffing data and mixed retail numbers.
The July Markit/Recruitment & Employment Confederation jobs report showing staff appointments increasing at fastest rate for over two years as candidate availability drops. Permanent placements growth reached a 27-month record, while temp billings increased at the fastest rate for nearly two-and-a-half years, with the marked decline in staff availability amid historic low in unemployment was contributing pay increases.
Meanwhile, the BRC/KPMG retail sale monitor showed UK sales increased 0.9% in July on a like-for-like basis over June, with total sales slowing to 1.4% in July but against a strong comparative performance.
In company news, Paddy Power Betfair led the fallers for a second day in a row, having revealed the departure of CEO Breon Corcoran on Monday. Tuesday's results confirmed the 21% increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, but some analysts were concerned by the softening gaming revenues.
InterContinental Hotels fell as its 10% interim dividend increase was not enough to impress investors as growth in revenue per available room (revpar) slowed to 2.1% from the 2.7% at the start of the year.
Standard Life was down as news of increased outflows overshadowed better bottom-line growth. Ahead of its upcoming merger with Aberdeen next Monday, it posted a £5.6bn outflow from its flagship Global Absolute Return Strategies multi-asset fund, underscoring the logic behind the merger as both outfits try to offset competition from passive investment vehicles.
Burberry, which has strong exposure to China and Hong Kong, was down after the earlier trade data release.
Pets at Home climbed higher after reporting strong first quarter numbers. Like-for-like sales were up 2.7%, with its merchandise LFL growth accelerating to 1.5%. Management also stated that the profit outlook for the full year remains in line with expectations.
Bellway was slightly higher as the housebuilder said it expected to increase revenues 13% and on slightly stronger profits margins for the 12 months to 31 July.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Mediclinic International (MDC) 742.00p 0.61%
Mondi (MNDI) 2,006.00p 0.60%
Ashtead Group (AHT) 1,674.00p 0.60%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 923.00p 0.60%
Royal Dutch Shell 'A' (RDSA) 2,210.50p 0.59%
BP (BP.) 471.15p 0.58%
AstraZeneca (AZN) 4,555.50p 0.55%
Old Mutual (OML) 207.70p 0.53%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 262.80p 0.50%
Royal Dutch Shell 'B' (RDSB) 2,240.50p 0.47%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) 7,250.00p -3.97%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,297.00p -2.58%
Standard Life (SL.) 433.10p -2.30%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 943.50p -1.31%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 5,007.00p -0.95%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,603.50p -0.92%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,796.00p -0.72%
BAE Systems (BA.) 578.50p -0.69%
St James's Place (STJ) 1,221.00p -0.65%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,468.00p -0.61%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Pets at Home Group (PETS) 185.10p 7.43%
Euromoney Institutional Investor (ERM) 1,191.00p 3.84%
Marshalls (MSLH) 408.90p 1.97%
Synthomer (SYNT) 500.00p 1.44%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 649.00p 1.41%
Aldermore Group (ALD) 222.80p 1.04%
Genus (GNS) 1,766.00p 0.80%
Investec (INVP) 582.00p 0.78%
P2P Global Investments (P2P) 887.00p 0.68%
Spectris (SXS) 2,523.00p 0.68%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
IWG (IWG) 316.30p -7.78%
AA (AA.) 192.90p -4.03%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 327.80p -2.53%
Polypipe Group (PLP) 395.50p -2.22%
IP Group (IPO) 140.30p -1.68%
SIG (SHI) 167.70p -1.64%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 257.80p -1.64%
Carillion (CLLN) 57.25p -1.63%
Softcat (SCT) 393.00p -1.53%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 94.85p -1.51%